No Harm

Cooper, as a member of the New Jersey High Reliability Organization (HRO) collaborative, also known as New Jersey S.T.R.O.N.G., presents the fifth safety behavior, “No Harm.” Individuals in a safety-first culture always stop when uncertain and sometimes stop just to be certain. If you are ever uncertain of a situation because the information doesn’t seem quite right, you should stop all work activities. The error prevention tool to achieve this goal is called “Stop the Line.”

The “Stop the Line” tool is used in the manufacturing industry and is applied to quality control using these four principles:

  1. Detect the abnormality
  2. Stop
  3. Fix or correct the immediate condition
  4. Investigate the root cause and install a countermeasure

Clinical examples for when to use the “Stop the Line” tool include:

  • Defective equipment that could cause harm
  • Medication errors
  • Incorrect surgery site markings

Non-clinical examples of when to use the Stop the Line tool include:

  • Observing staff standing on a broken ladder
  • Housekeeping plugging in a vacuum with a frayed power cord

Do not proceed into the face of uncertainty. People who do are 10 times more likely to make an error that could be harmful.